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Grid control with renewable energy sources


Objectives of the project

The objective of the research project is to define, develop and demonstrate a system for the control and management of grids supplied by Renewable Energy Systems. The newly developed Grid Control Unit (GCU) will align the operational behaviour of renewable power plants, especially PV and WE-plants (single or as hybrid systems), with that of conventional power plants. The GCU will enable renewable power plants to participate actively in supporting the grid and improving the secured energy fed into the grid. The main components of the GCU are the data acquisition and monitoring subsystem, a superior control component and the power supply. An industrial personal computer system with additional plugin cards is foreseen as a technical solution for the GCU.
Technical approach

Prior to the development of a method for grid control and the design of a Grid Control Unit (GCU), it is essential to establish a quantitative view of the typical characteristics of weak grids and their impact on consumers. The scientific partners (Uni Kassel, ITER) will define the operating conditions of the grid control system, in co-operation with the participating utility companies (EAM, Unelco, EHN).
Based on the defined operating conditions, and the set requirements of the grid control system, a detailed hard and software concept for the separate components of the GCU will be described. A variety of typical plant and grid configurations will be considered, by applying simulation models developed specifically for this purpose. Based on the hardware/software design, the construction of the devices, their realisation, assembly and the laboratory testing will be carried out by SMA in co-operation with the scientific partners. The GCU will be tested extensively in the laboratory under well defined conditions, so that the system components can be fine tuned and optimised.
Three different locations have been selected for the practical testing and demonstration of the GCU, because of their different grid parameters (voltage, short circuit power, consumer load), plant configurations (PV/wind, PV/wind/hydroelectric and wind/combined heat and power stations etc.) and their different geographical and meteorological conditions (wind speed, solar irradiation). Prior to field testing and demonstration at the three locations, the GCU will be installed and adapted and modifications to grid and plant components will be made. These tasks will be performed by the involved utility companies.

Expected achievements and exploitation

The advantages of the project arise from the development of a Grid Control Unit (GCU) with improved power quality, especially in weak grids with large sources of renewable energy. An increase in the calculable/predictable amount of wind energy and improved economy can be expected. A stronger acceptance of wind energy in the changing structure of electrical power supply should also be experienced.
SMA will use the results of the project directly for the manufacturing and distribution of the GCU. For the commercial exploitation of the GCU, the manufacturer will first utilise the already existing distribution channels and the partners involved in the project. The involved utility companies will be especially important in the promotion and dissemination of the newly developed GCU.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Universität Gesamthochschule Kassel
34119 Kassel

Participants (5)

C/yanguas Y Miranda N.1-5°
31002 Pamplona
Energie Aktiengesellschaft Mitteldeutschland AG
2,Monteverdistrasse 2
34011 Kassel
Instituto Tecnólogico y de Energòas Renovables SA
1,Parque Eolico 1
38594 Tenerife
Hannoversche Strasse 1-5
34266 Niestetal
Unión Eléctrica de Canarias SA
22,Avda. Alcalde José Ramirez Bethencourt22
35004 Las Palmas De Gran Canaria